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Cafu is hoping AC Milan avoid AS Roma in Friday's UEFA Champions League quarter-final draw - but memories of 2005 have left him eager for a tie with Liverpool FC.
The veteran defender is closing in on his 100th league appearance for the Rossoneri in this his fourth season but has not played since 25 February, partly because of a back injury. He hopes to be firing on all cylinders in time for the quarter-finals, and will be keeping a close eye on Friday's draw when Milan could be paired with Cafu's former club Roma.
“You can’t choose any opponent at this stage of the competition,” Cafu told uefa.com. “All of them are great sides. The one team I would not like to play is Roma. I played there for so long and I admire the club and the crowd, so I don’t want to play against them.”
Cafu's fondness for the Giallorossi is understandable given that he spent seven seasons at the Stadio Olimpico, winning the Italian title in 2000/01. His feelings for Liverpool are somewhat different, and the Brazilian would relish an opportunity to gain revenge for Milan's defeat by the Reds in the final two years ago. “I am kind of a cold guy and I don’t suffer much because of the past,” he said. “But it would be obviously special for us to meet Liverpool again and beat them this time.
'It was amazing'
"I promise you we would do everything to beat them and try to forget that defeat," he added. "What happened in Istanbul was amazing - unbelievable. It won’t happen again.” Cafu could also find himself facing a former colleague in Andriy Shevchenko were the draw to pit Milan with English champions Chelsea FC.
It was Shevchenko who missed from the spot in that Liverpool final, and the memory of defeat when he was so close to lifting club football’s ultimate prize for the first time still lingers. “It is hard to describe," Cafu said. "
It was like a cold water shower, as if a piano had fallen on to your head. I was destroyed, but it is part of this great game called football.” At the age of 36, Cafu has plenty of happy memories as well and he is determined to make a few more once the draw is confirmed. “We are not afraid of anyone, but we respect all of the teams still involved."
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